Many people would've enjoyed their last weekend in London drinking their memories with friends.
I chose the way of pain. Oh yes folks, I got my black belt.
Pain is my game
After a quick warm up with the usual songs played constantly in my head - coming straight from the Commando List
that my old flat mate did it for me, with the soundtrack of the might eighties movies - I was ready to go.
I'm not the most natural gifted Kickboxer. I'm probably not really gifted in any sport: I just perform every single time as my life (and honor) depends on it, and because I genuinely enjoy pain
With my short and big legs, kicking some invisible spot in the air at my eyes-height (well, more like neck-height) has always been a problem for me.
Sure, you can stretch. "Stretch, and you can do even do the split". Yeah right.
Somehow over the years I managed to reach a decent height with a decent balance and since Jamie (my instructor - quick like a ninja
) decided that I could grade after my months of intense training, well, then it means that I'm not that crap.
After all I'm the Olafmeister.
My techniques weren't that perfect, but I was quick and balanced enough to come through with no many huge mistakes. I was very tired already, but now I had to face the last test to get that black belt: survive 10 full rounds with fresher and better kick boxers than me.
While many guys (and girls) over the years always feared that moment, sparring after tiring techniques, this was just what I wanted. Just go and show them all that hey, I can take it (and this is pretty much it).
Just a week before the grading Jamie gently asked me to abandon my suicidal stance
and adopt a better hit-and-run approach to it.
It almost worked, at least for the first few rounds. My round with Jamie looks really good on the preview video watched in the pub hours later.
But I was drunk by then, so I should maybe re-watch it again.
In my drunken memories, I remember seeing a quicker version of myself, capable of ducking under blows and swiftly delivering awesome punches. Need to see it again.
After Jamie, I fought Paul, Dani and Aurjin (no idea how to spell it). All good fighters, all tough fighters. They sparred with me before so they know they could actually push me and use me as a punch (or kick ball).
I really tried to listen to Jamie's advices for a while, but then my guard dropped, my speed decreased, my kicks stopped and I became a proper punching bag. With a smiley face. Told you I enjoy this things.
My two highlights:
- Round against Aurjin, "kicks only". I managed somehow to use a beautiful (by my standards, hey) butterfly kick that hit him. And the since I trained the whole combination at the mirror, I punched him, just in the only round where punches were not allowed. Crowd went from Wow to silence. I apologized, he kicked me in the balls seconds later. Fair enough
- Round against Dani. Dani tries some front snap kick, then a side kick or so, and he breaks his toe. Yes, probably he landed bad and moved it in an unnatural way, but I'd rather say that he broke it against my hip (which is still blue)
Tired, but still smiling, the rounds stopped and I was done. Jamie said same nice words and finally I got my black belt. End of an era for me. This was the last thing I wanted to achieve in London.
I actually stayed longer, with my fiancée waiting in South Africa for my arrival, just to get that belt. No social life, not many drinks in the many goodbye parties, just training. Was it worth it? Oh hell yeah.
Now I introduce myself as "Hello, Olaf Olgiati, black fucking belt by the way
" just to scare people away.
The next day, with marks all over my body, I had my first and last lesson in the class as black belt. I really need daily gratifications, uh?